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Sharia and child abuse in Turkey

Reader comment on item: Turkey: An Ally No More
in response to reader comment: islamic turkey

Submitted by Ianus (Poland), Nov 8, 2009 at 14:00

Havas wrote :

>and a small sharia law from our islamic government. if some man or woman sexually touches--only touching-- under 18 years of childs body ,you go to jail for 9 years. before you finish the age 15 nobody can marry.<

That sounds contradictory. Only touching a child - under 18 years - is tantamount to 9 years in prison and yet marriages over 15 are allowed. How is it possible ?

The Turks are masters of deception and if someone doesn't know their crooked ways of saying something to obscure and deflect attention from something more important , then one can be easily hoodwinked.

In Turkey (so far) only civil marriages are legally valid and the minimal age to marry is 18. But as most things in Turkey also this provision remains on paper while child marriages - often families marrying little girls to elderly men for money - are common and they are conducted in mosque. After a few years when the formal age is reached this Islamic marriage is legalized by a civil servant. This way the law is formally respected although it's just a parody of law.

Havas writes " before you finish the age 15 nobody can marry". The trick involved here is that by reducing the marriage age to 15 an attempt is made to legalize the Islamic customary marriage age instead of circumventing the law in the clumsy way described above.

At its face value the more Draconian law against child abuse look quite persuasive and morally superior ... were it not for the sad facts on the ground. Turkey is the land of child abuse par excellence beside being the land of domestic violence and honour killings.

I'll leave aside the scandal where a leading Islamist journalist (76 year old Hüseyin Üzmez) abused a 15 year old girl and was released at first defending his misdeed ( which is not so rare in Turkey) by refering to sharia! [ "A girl who's reached puberty, who's having periods, is of age, according to our beliefs..." ]

Let us quote some revealing data from a Turkish source on the nasty problem which Havas tries to deflect our attention from by praising Allah's "wise" laws.

In Turkey "according to Justice Ministry figures 7,000 children are subject to sexual harassment and rape annually".

"There are no reliable statistics about the sexual abuse of children in Turkey. There have been several studies, though. Some of them suggest that 4 percent of children are victims of incest in the country while some others have found this number to be as high as 18 percent. However, these figures are the tip of the iceberg. It has been found that 35 percent of the children in Turkey are subject to physical violence. Beating is used as a method of education. Although there are different interpretations of the data on sexual abuse, it is obvious that the molesters are primarily people trusted by the victims. About 50 percent of the molesters come from among the relatives and close circles of the children's families."

"An estimated 88,313 children in Turkey live on the streets [...] the country has the fourth-highest rate of underage substance abuse in the world."

"the frequency of cases of sexual abuse and exploitation is highest in the cities of İstanbul, Diyarbakır and Bursa. Children trafficked from countries such as Ukraine, Moldova and Russia, as well as southeastern Turkey, are forced into prostitution in İstanbul. He says forced marriages of young girls to older men in return for money remains a persistent and traditional sexual crime against children in Diyarbakır."

In short it may be safely concluded that what Havas depicts as a triumph of Islamic moral standards over immorality is just a proof that the phenomenon is endemic and it has its origin in the dysfunctional Islamic society and customs. Sharia will never remedy this evil. On the contrary it will only sharpen it and will help hide it better from the public eye. Good Moslems like Hüseyin Üzmez will always find excuses and examples from the Prophet's life to get rid of charges and accusations.

One more thing. According to a study on gender equality Turkey ranked 123rd of 130 countries , behind such 'progressive' states like Syria and Iran and yet a bit better than Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. I wonder where Turkey would be now without its 80 years of forced "secularism" and gender "equality" ?

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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